FCC Investigates VNRs

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Following up on a complaint by the Free Press and the Center for Media and Democracy, the FCC sent out over three dozen letters of inquiry to broadcast license holders about Video News Releases, also known as VNRs. VNRs are segments or news stories that are part of sponsored packages, and they must be identified as such, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.

The letters, which went out to 77 license holders, aim to determine if audiences were being deliberately misled by the VNRs because the stations did not identify them. The offending stations could be slapped with a $32,500 fine for each violation, and could even lose their licenses as a result, according to Section 507 of the Communications Act.

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